Beyond Image and Convention Explorations in Southern Women’s History ed. by Janet L. Coryell, Martha H. Swain, Sandra Gioia Treadway, and Elizabeth Hayes Turner, and: Women of the American South A Multicultural Reader ed. by Christie Anne Farnham (review)

Beyond Image and Convention Explorations in Southern Women's History ed. by Janet L. Coryell, Martha H. Swain, Sandra Gioia Treadway, and Elizabeth Hayes Turner (University of Missouri Press, 1998)

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Beyond Image and Convention Explorations in Southern Women’s History ed. by Janet L. Coryell, Martha H. Swain, Sandra Gioia Treadway, and Elizabeth Hayes Turner, and: Women of the American South A Multicultural Reader ed. by Christie Anne Farnham (review)

by Georgina Hickey
Southern Cultures, Vol. 6, No. 3: Fall 2000

University of Missouri Press, 1998; New York University Press, 1997

Most students of southern history long ago realized that the Southern Belle was not an accurate reflection on womanhood in the South, not even for the wives of wealthy plantation owners. Certainly the impetus for two recent collections of original essays on southern women reflects this. Women of the American South: A Multicultural Reader brings together sixteen never-before-published articles and a historiographical/autobiographical essay by the matriarch of the field, Anne Firor Scott. Beyond Image and Convention: Explorations in Southern Women’s History is a collection of nine deftly edited articles drawn from papers given in 1994 at the Third Southern Conference on Women’s History. Beyond challenging one-dimensional depictions of southern women, these anthologies encourage us to see the South in general, and not just its women, in all its multifaceted complexity.